Vehicle delivery worker killed by pickup truck falling on him in Eugene

A vehicle delivery worker was killed Saturday night after he was pinned by a pickup truck that fell on him from a trailer in Eugene's Bethel neighborhood, according to Eugene Springfield Fire.

Emergency personnel responded to the 4000 block of Souza Street at about 8:25 p.m. Saturday, according to emergency call logs, with the first fire engine arriving within a minute and a half, Battalion Chief Rod Cullen said Sunday.

Firefighters found the pickup truck halfway off the trailer, with the back axle pinning the man, who was in his 20s, Cullen said. The trailer had a handful of other vehicles, and the out-of-state delivery worker and another person had been making stops in the area, he said.

Some bystanders had placed car jacks underneath the truck before the fire department arrived, Cullen said, but were unsuccessful in getting it off the man. While it was done with good intentions, Cullen said the bystander jacks made it difficult to lift the vehicle since the normal spots they would place their own equipment were taken and it was too dangerous to remove the jacks.

For local stories that matter, subscribe today.

"They used car jacks, bottle jacks, whatever they could find to try to get the car off of the guy while we were en route to that location," he said. "There were probably half a dozen floor jacks and stuff like that strewn throughout the street."

Cullen said he first placed wheel chocks around the wheels still on the trailer to prevent it from sliding off more, and firefighters immediately began life-saving measures.

Firefighters then called in a truck company with more equipment, and placed pieces of wood with airbags on top that were blown up from underneath the rear of the pickup in order to lift it, he said. By the time the man was unpinned, he had died, Cullen said.

Cullen said it was close to 10 minutes from the time the calls came in until the man was pulled out.

"It didn't take us a long time, and once the truck company got there and set up, it was relatively quick," he said. "It could have been a little quicker had we had the places we needed to go, like the axle, for example, to lift the vehicle."

The way the man was positioned also made the rescue difficult since it took away some of the spots they would normally lift the car from, he said.

The man's name will not be released until next of kin are notified, said Cullen, who added Eugene police are investigating the incident.

Cullen said it is not yet clear how the accident happened, and that the straps attaching the pickup to the trailer were still in place when firefighters arrived.

One fire engine, the truck company vehicle, one ambulance and one battalion chief vehicle responded to the scene, he said.

"It’s sad, anytime there’s a loss of life, it takes an emotional toll on you," Cullen said.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Vehicle delivery worker killed by pickup truck falling on him in Eugene